Dumped Emergency Beacon Sparks Search
An obsolete emergency beacon left at a rubbish dump has sparked a costly and unnecessary 24 hour search, the second to have happened this year. A plane flying over the Bay of Plenty picked up the distress signal around 3pm on Monday. The Rescue Coordination Centre was alerted and a helicopter dispatched from Rotorua to try to identify the source of the signal. The beacon was finally found around midday yesterday at the Te Maunga refuse centre in Mt Maunganui. It serves as a reminder that old beacons must be deactivated before they're disposed of.
Crime Spree Lands Man in Jail
A Waihi man who went on a crime spree lighting several fires, stealing a car and torching it, has been sent to jail for two years and four months. Logan Fox has been convicted in the Tauranga District Court on charges of arson, theft of a motorvehicle and driving while disqualified. The 24 year old was seen with a group of others lighting several fires at the Katikati Medical Centre, using petrol as an accelerant before hot wiring a car and driving off. They allegedly spent ten minutes wiping windscreen wipers clean of fingerprints and taking several items then setting it alight - completely destroying the $3000 vehicle.
Special Needs Unit Set to Open
A million dollar facility for special needs students will today be opened at Otumoetai College. The unit that replaces the existing facility boasts long ramps, wide corridors, a commercial kitchen and purpose built classrooms. School Principal Dave Randell says it took him four years to negotiate the upgrade with the Ministry of Education.
Man Convicted Over Stabbing
An 18 year old who stabbed a man while he was shielding his pregnant daughter has been sentenced to just over 2 years imprisonment. Justin Dickson was convicted on four charges in the Tauranga District Court after punching his girlfriend and threatening to kill her this year. The victim's father tried to protect her behind a kitchen door when Dickson took a large knife and stabbed through the wall eight times, puncturing his upper thigh. Judge Ingram says it's yet another knife attack by a bored and frustrated man unable to control his anger.
60 Year Old Injured in Hammer Assault
A 60 year old man was assaulted with a hammer in the Lower Kaimas Monday night. The man suffered facial injuries, a broken tooth and cuts and bruises. Detective Sergeant Pete Blackwell says no arrests have been made but they know who the alleged offender is. He says the victim's car was also damaged by the offender and they're treating the assault as very serious.
Tauranga Warmest Main Centre in October
NIWA has described October as spectacularly sunny despite an extreme cold snap in the middle of the month. The climate summary released yesterday says last month was extremely dry and sunny in most regions, thanks to a number of anti-cyclones. Tauranga was the warmest of the six main centres for the month and the second sunniest - clocking in 246 hours of sunshine. The mean average temperature was .9 degrees above the average - at 14.7 degrees - with rainfall 26 per percent below normal.